Wondrous as today's technology is, there remains no feasible way to put ordinary people in space. Except, it seems, through virtual reality. Opaque Multimedia has combined an Oculus Rift
headset with Microsoft Kinect
2 motion tracking to make it possible to get a first-hand (virtual) taste of life on – or rather just outside – the International Space Station. Its new tech demo, Earthlight
, lets players explore in first person around the outside of the ISS as it orbits the Earth, safe in the comfort of their living room.
Virtual reality may not be quite
ready for mass consumption, but it is looming on the horizon. And after jamming our eyeballs into the equally mesmerizing Oculus Rift DK2 and Samsung Gear VR
(and some brief time with the latest Oculus Rift prototype
), we have a few thoughts on how this next big thing
could play out.
Only a few days ago we were mulling over what virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift might be used for other than gaming
– here's another to add to the list. Audi has announced that prospective customers will be able don a VR headset and sit inside their virtual car-to-be as they configure it.
Gamers have been buzzing about the Oculus Rift
for a couple of years already, and they're going to be the headset's core audience at launch. But in the long run, we believe the product has the potential to transcend gaming. Let's take a look at eight future uses for the best virtual reality headset.
In the 1960s, engineers predicted that manned outposts would be built on the bottom of the sea housing hundreds of workers to handle complex tasks like exploiting deep sea oil and natural gas fields. In the 21st century, those outposts are becoming a reality, but as unmanned robotic platforms that are rarely visited by humans. To show how these will be built and operated, GE has created a 3D virtual exhibit for its new research center in Rio de Janeiro.
When you visit with enough companies at CES, you start to develop a sixth sense. All of them are ambitious, and some have promising – or even very good – products. But when something is really special, you can just tell. Oculus VR is one of those companies. We're hardly the first to say this, but the Oculus Rift is the future – and, with all due respect, none of the other companies trying to hop aboard the VR gravy train are anywhere close.
In our product comparisons, we line up consumer gear and do our best to help you make up your mind ... but this one is a little different. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) isn't a consumer product, but there could be value in seeing how the Samsung Gear VR
, a virtual reality headset that is
a consumer product, measures up with it. Read on for Gizmag's features and specs comparison.
2014 saw smartphones get bigger and faster, with sharper screens and better cameras ... in other words, exactly like every other year. But with wearables gaining some traction, tablets' "post PC" aspirations screeching to a halt, and VR waiting in the wings, we did see some significant developments this year. Join Gizmag, as we take a look at the year in mobile and wearables.
Not all readers may be familiar with the name Shane Warne, but in the cricketing world it carries as much weight as that of John Madden or Michael Jordan in their respective fields. The Australian sporting legend has just announced an app for the Oculus Rift
that will see players go toe-to-toe with the so-called "King of Spin" in a virtual cricket arena.
VR headsets like the Oculus Rift
and Gear VR
are great for gaming and immersive 360-degree videos. But what about exercise? Though the idea isn't without its flaws, virtual reality could one day add an exciting new dimension to stationary workout machines. Gizmag chatted with a researcher in the field (and went for a mind-bending VR spin of our own) to investigate.